Creepy Nature Phenomenon: Millions of Caterpillars Invade a Cemetery in Southend-on-Sea Essex UK

This is a creepy nature phenomenon: Spooky caterpillar crawl along dozens of gravestones, benches and trees, transforming an Essex cemetery into a fairy tale or horror movie scene. Scroll down for the video!

Mysterious: Mourners at Sutton Road Cemetery in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, have been astounded by the phenomenon - with the caterpillars crawling along dozens of gravestones, benches and trees.

These caterpillars are called bird cherry Ermine moth caterpillars. They created web-like nests and left the graveyard with a ghostly white appearance. Look at the thin strands of their silken threads on the trees!

caterpillar invasion in Essex graveyard june 2013

In their caterpillar stage, the bugs, known as web worms, weave leaves of trees together. They can be found across  Europe as well as in northern and eastern Asia. Ranging in size from 0.6 to 1in, they live on bird cherry trees and make an extensive web-like nest. They can eat an entire tree bare although many trees survive with reduced growth in the following growth seasons.

caterpillar plague in essex cemetery june 2013

In 2011, 20 matures trees disappeared under a web of white silk in Birmingham when they experienced an infestation.

Webs: There are no plans to remove the caterpillars because they do not cause any damage to the area

But there is something quite beautiful too in the way they create the ghostly white webs that hang from the trees. It would be the perfect setting for a scene from a Tim Burton’s movie.

caterpillar plague in Hampton London june 2013

The invasion is not the only of its kind seen this month as a plague of the same bugs has covered pavements, walls and cars in Hampton, south-west London last week as shown in the picture above.

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